Star Wars Puts Ridley And Boyega In The Big Time

Daisy Ridley has mainly appeared in TV series, while John Boyega won awards for his first film role in Attack the Block (2011). But of course all of that changes this weekend.

Both have spoken about the lengthy Star Wars audition process. “Luckily for me J.J. Abrams was searching as far and wide as possible to cast the role,” says Ridley, who plays scavenger-turned-hero Rey. “I thought I’d ruined the first few auditions, but he saw some potential I guess and I was allowed to come back and read again. From when I started auditioning two years ago until now it has been like a rollercoaster.”

Daisy Ridley at the London premiere of Star WarsDaisy Ridley at the London premiere of Star Wars

Boyega, who plays AWOL Stormtrooper Finn, remembers feeling confused by the seven-month auditioning process. “It was like they were dangling the opportunity in front of my face and then saying, ‘No you don’t have it yet.’ I was always being called back. When J.J. broke it to me that I had the part, my main feeling was one of relief and knowing I was going to sleep well that night. And I did!”

Ridley loved playing such a strong character. “Rey is an incredibly brave young woman who starts off alone and encounters Finn,” she says. “She’s not a superhero, she’s a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so it’s very relatable.”

For Boyega, the highlight was bonding with his most famous costar. “What’s great about the movie is that Finn and Han’s relationship kind of mirrors mine and Harrison Ford’s,” he says. “Basically we are best friends! He wouldn’t say that, but we are close. Finn doesn’t have as much respect for Han’s legacy as everybody else does, and Han finds that a bit charming. Harrison and I didn’t have many serious conversations because we were just talking nonsense and bantering. Our encounters kind of influenced the way Finn is with Han. We are just very honest and transparent with each other, so it was pretty cool.”

Meanwhile, Ridley is bracing for the fact that she’ll be part of the Star Wars galaxy for the rest of her life. “Yeah, I’ve been told that my life’s going to change,” she says. “So I’m remembering to enjoy it and to be in the moment, so it’s not passing me by.”

Watch the trailer for Star Wars here:

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